Volume 1 Issue 6 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | Published weekly on Mondays | #meadowlarkmonday
Small, Sentimental Celebrations
Congratulations Zz, Row-Row and the entire Class of 2020!!
This weekend as we enjoyed a pre-grad celebration for our graduate, I reflected on one of the silver linings to this strange situation we all face: spending more time with family. You can still celebrate an occasion with the ones you love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pomp and circumstance and I sincerely hope these kids get a chance to walk the stage, collect a diploma, and throw up their caps! However, these small, sentimental celebrations are sweet and just as meaningful. Here’s a touching example.
The arrival of the Facebook trend Wine Ninjas to our area has many local women eagerly checking the front step for a gift from an anonymous Facebook group member. The group’s intention is to spread some positivity. It reminds me of random acts of kindness/pay it forward trend and its enduring legacy: paying for the next car’s Tim Horton’s order!
KIK volunteers were out sprucing up their garden space and decorating our community with these adorable pothead dolls. Did you know that when it comes to the nonprofit sector, people over 45 kick (KIK?) butt, contributing 1 billion volunteer hours each year! (Canada-wide, read more…)
Buy Local Meat
How nice is it that we have a local butcher who can help you convert the 4-H calf you buy into groceries? Check out this recent comment (and more) on the community Facebook page (I love I…).
“They are amazing. They will continue to restock. They will run out, but because they have a good supply will make meat available. Also, no one can beat their prime rib.”Sue N.
Also, please check out the post for the upcoming June 13 online 4-H sale!
The last time I set my alarm clock was March 20. Usually I lead a very busy life with places to be often in the morning, afternoon and evening. My typical day would begin around 7:00 a.m. and end with a bedtime of around midnight. Sleep-deprived, I would have to set an alarm, particularly as I am a person who needs to ease into her day – I can’t just get up and go. With very few places to go these days and most appointments being virtual, there has been no need to set an alarm. I have caught up on sleep and I feel refreshed and fantastic, in sync with my circadian rhythm. I still get up by about 7:30 a.m. or so, heading to bed around 11:00 p.m.
I love life without an alarm clock. But I do have another alarm and one that I can’t switch off. It sets itself with random times. Yes, I am the proud owner of a Feline O’Clock. My Tabby Edition likes to go off between about 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. with its prickly-paw alarm feature (usually on the face or the back of the neck). The snooze button is broken. Eventually it stops when it is time for its morning nap, the result being that I sleep longer than I normally like and start the day a little tired! Another loud alarm also goes off at random times of the day when said Feline O’Clock needs treats or a toy, including iPad cat games. Without fail it also goes off around 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. when it is time for the evening meal of Tasty Can. He has me trained. I am on Cat Time now!
May long weekend is less than a week away and that means it is time to get ready to plant! I was tempted to start sooner with the lovely weather last week, but waking up to the chill on Mother’s Day and seeing my breath this morning, I am glad I didn’t put anything out yet! Since our own gardens are just beginning the season I thought it would be fun to take a look at one of the world’s best gardens: Kew Botanical Gardens in London, UK. Explore Kew on your own here.
Wellness Together Canada
Wellness Together Canada launched in April with the goal of connecting Canadians to free online resources including peer support workers, social workers, and psychologists. The portal offers a single point-of-entry to access credible mental wellness information and help in addressing mental health and substance use issues. Here’s a sampling of what you may find: self-guided tools such as MindWell which can teach you core skills to integrate mindfulness into everyday life, the Big White Wall (an online community that is a safe place to talk, share and support others), and one to one counselling by text, phone and video. Sign up, complete a self-assessment, and you can access these offerings and more in a confidential manner.
Easy Arts, Crafts and Activities for Kids
Jae Jae (Jennifer)
The Best Playdough Recipe Ever!
I have made various types of homemade playdough and this hands down is THE BEST! I love that it is super soft so it doesn’t get as crumbly and messy as other recipes, it does not require expensive and hard to find cream of tartar, the salt ratio is small so it doesn’t dry out your hands, it smells yummy, and it does not require any baking!
2 ½ C flour
½ C salt
1 PITCHER pack of Crystal Light drink mix *Note: buy the Pitcher Packs, not the Singles
2C boiling water
Food colouring (optional)
3 Tbsp oil
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients together, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. It will be hot at first, so after you’ve mixed it as much as you can with a spoon, let it cool a bit until you can comfortably handle it, then take playdough out onto a counter and knead until everything is incorporated. It will feel wet at first, but don’t add any more flour, I promise it will come together nicely! Store in a Ziploc bag in the fridge, lasts a few months this way.
Adding to your play:
Playing with playdough is great way to develop fine motor skills and hand strength in little one. Outside of using a small rolling pin and cookie cutters, I will help my toddler rolls out snakes and give him a wooden or plastic knife to cut them up or give even a pair of kid’s scissors to cut it. Wondering what to do with all those little toys from kinder eggs, happy meals and loot bags? I collect them all in a tupperware with feathers, cut up pipe cleaners, rocks, gems, and other little do-dads as part of his playdough kit! He creates fun sculptures, decorates his cookies, and if I give him silicone muffin cups, he decorates cupcakes. Sometimes I change it up and give him different plastic animals and we have fun making and matching footprints in the playdough. You can do the same by running cars over the playdough that have different treads!
Letter Search and Match
This has not left our wall since we put it up weeks ago as it is one of my son’s favourite games to play! All you need is post-it notes (or you can cut pieces of paper and use masking tape loops on the back), a larger piece of paper or cardboard for the backing (you could use the back of wrapping paper or tape a few sheets of paper together), and a marker.
I started by writing out the letters of the alphabet in capital letters on 26 post-it notes and placed them onto my backing (I used a piece of cardboard). Then I took off one post-it at a time, writing the same letter beneath it as I went. This process allowed me to get the spacing right on my backing. Now the fun part. I mounted the backing to the wall and had my son hide in the bathroom while I hid the post-it notes all over the house. When I was done my son and I went on a hunt for letters. Cue hand binoculars for added excitement! When he would find a post-it I would get him to match it onto the backing. We have played this so much that I just added masking tape loops to the back of the post-its to keep it going. I hope your littles enjoy this as much as he does!
Adding to your play:
Since my son is only three, I focus more on it being a fun hunt for letter recognition. As he finds letters – and if he isn’t going too fast – I say the letter, the sound it makes, and also say a word or two that starts with the letter. For older kids you can definitely try these things, prompting your child to come up with words. Another modification to make it more challenging for older kids is to have the post-it notes with the lowercase letters. That way they can match them to the capital letters on the backing – or vice versa. My son loves the idea of ‘hunting’ for the letters, so we’ve also made binoculars out of toilet paper rolls, some glue, and stickers to decorate them!